Date: March 24th
Location: Toast Bar & Bistro
Elias gave a speech at the first Taiwantrepreneurs Club Meet hosted by Taiwanease.com, making Taiwan easy!, in 2013. More than 50 people from a wide range of backgrounds attended the event. We met English teachers, importer-exporters, branch office managers of foreign companies, foreign entrepreneurs, Taiwanese entrepreneurs, MBA students, a photographer, to name a few. They heard Elias introduce “How to Start a Business in Taiwan”, and delve into some of the more interesting topics for foreign entrepreneurs, discussing business entities, grants, finding employees, and some of the difficulties and pitfalls foreigners face in doing business in Taiwan.
The speech prompted a lively debate. Lots of questions were asked. Attendees shared their experiences, both good and bad, on doing business in Taiwan. The consensus was overwhelmingly positive. Taiwan is a great place to do business. Taiwanese people are generally extremely warm and welcoming to foreigners. However, attendees also spoke of their feeling of being discriminated against, being a “local foreigner” (ie. Somebody who calls Taiwan home) doing business in Taiwan, as opposed to a “foreign foreigner” (ie. People in Taiwan temporarily on business) doing business in Taiwan. Foreign foreigners tend to get special treatment, whereas local foreigners often encounter obstacles, such as difficulty in getting a credit card, obtaining a loan, and so forth.
An average… below average
Before the speech, we also handed out short quizzes, which consisted of a series of multiple-choice questions testing the attendees’ knowledge of doing business in Taiwan. Twenty people took the quiz, and the average result was 45%! This shows that there is most certainly scope for improvement! The winners, David Roswell and Bruno Koegler, will receive a free version of the Book!
We are grateful to Anthony Van Dyck for arranging the event and inviting Elias to speak, to share his expertise and experience.